Psorospermum febrifugum Spach

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Psorospermum febrifugum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Path to Chisanga Falls, Nyika National Park

Psorospermum febrifugum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along path to Chisanga Falls, Nyika National Park

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Synonyms: Psorospermum albidum (Oliv.) Engl.
Psorospermum campestre Engl.
Psorospermum febrifugum Spach. var. albidum Oliv.
Psorospermum febrifugum Spach. var. glabrum Oliv.
Psorospermum febrifugum Spach. var. ferrugineum (Hook. f.) Keay & Milne-Redh.
Psorospermum ferrugineum Hook. f.
Psorospermum stuhlmannii Engl.
Psorospermum stuhlmannii Engl. var. cuneifolium Engl.
Common names: Christmas berry (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Leaves opposite, at right angles, sessile or with petiole rarely more than 2 mm. long; leathery, with conspicuous reticulation, very variably pubescent, always much paler beneath. Flowers in dense terminal heads, greyish-cream, densely covered in hairs. Fruits in striking masses of deep red berries.
Derivation of specific name: febrifugum: giving relief from fever.
Habitat: In various types of open woodland, scrub and wooded grassland.
Altitude range: Up to 1980 m
Flowering time:Oct - Dec
Worldwide distribution: From Senegal eastwards to South Sudan and Ethiopia, southwards to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Angola.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 13 May 2019

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 129. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 618. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 46.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 735. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 196 - 199. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, M. (1989). Guide to the trees and shrubs of the Mukuvisi Woodlands ?publisher. Page 28.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 45.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 260.

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 148 - 149. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 35.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 41.

Robson, N.K.B. (1961). Guttiferae Flora Zambesiaca 1(2) Pages 387 - 389. (Includes a picture).

Smith, P. & Allen, Q. (2004). Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of the Miombo Woodlands Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 1 84246 073 0 Pages 38 - 40. (Includes a picture).

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 51.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 69.

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 73.

White, F. (1962). Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia Oxford Univ. Press. Page 257.

Other sources of information about Psorospermum febrifugum:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Psorospermum febrifugum
Flora of Zambia: Psorospermum febrifugum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Psorospermum febrifugum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Psorospermum febrifugum
African Plant Database: Psorospermum febrifugum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Psorospermum febrifugum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Psorospermum febrifugum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Psorospermum febrifugum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Psorospermum febrifugum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Psorospermum febrifugum
JSTOR Plant Science: Psorospermum febrifugum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Psorospermum febrifugum
Plants of the World Online: Psorospermum febrifugum
Tropicos: Psorospermum febrifugum
Wikipedia: Psorospermum febrifugum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Psorospermum febrifugum., retrieved 18 April 2024

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